Return to Transcripts main page

CNN Live Event/Special

January 6th Well-Planned Insurrection; House Committee Confident Of Their Evidence; Proud Boys Revered Their President's Words; The January 6 House Select Committee Holds First Public Hearing. Aired 10p-11p ET

Aired June 09, 2022 - 22:00   ET




GEORGE CONWAY, CONSERVATIVE LAWYER: And she went through all of the reasons why there is substantial evidence to believe that Donald Trump intentionally committed the crime of corruptly interfering with a congressional proceeding and of fraudulently seeking to obstruct a function of the government.

She did it with the words of the people who supported him, did it through the words of people who served loyally in the Trump administration. And that is just absolutely damning.

And the other thing, the film, yes, it was done, it was more, it was done very well. But we've seen it before. And it either affects you or it don't. Or it doesn't. I don't see how it can't affect you. But what's important about reemphasizing that was two things, one was, how the insurrectionists said that Donald Trump brought us here, and then this is also a setup for a future hearing, when we asked the question, what was Donald Trump doing for the hours?


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: And Laura, before -- I want to just pivot off what something George said and ask you about it. I want to play what former Attorney General Bill Barr told President Trump which we learned tonight in this video. Let's watch.


WILLIAM BARR, FORMER UNITED STATES ATTORNEY GENERAL: I had three discussions with the president that I can recall. One was on November 23rd, one was on December 1st and one was on December 14th. And I've been through sort of, the give and take out those discussions. And in that context, I made it clear that I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out the stuff, which I told the president was bullshit.

And you know, I didn't want to be a part of it. And that's one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when I did. I observed, I think it was on December 1st, that you know, how can you -- you can't live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view unsupported by specific evidence, that the election -- that there was fraud in the election.


COOPER: I mean, this comes from somebody who is the attorney general for this president, and was very loyal to this president.

LAURA COATES, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Absolutely, the word view sticks in my mind. It wasn't based on his belief that he in fact was still the president of the United States. Why that makes such an important case is because we've all been wrestling to figure out how would you in a court of law ever possibly prove the intent of Donald Trump.

Was it going to be the circumstantial evidence that someone has told you something, or was it going to be through statements like we heard today, who, Liz Cheney saying, that the President of United States said things like, when they heard about chants to hang Vice President Mike Pence, maybe our supporters have the right idea, maybe Mike Pence deserves it?

Getting a real-time intelligence about the prospect and the imminence of violence. And what you heard them talk about, the documentary filmmaker, they were casing the joint, they were walking away. He actually said, I was wondering why we were walking away from the speech I thought we were going to cover, and instead go this direction.

There is one thing I wondered though. The focus on the Proud Boys made me wonder to what extent the DOJ is listening to this as a notion of are they looking to have a superseding indictment. They already indicted the Proud Boys once back in April, I believe. They indicted them again now for the latest charge of conspiracy.

Are you looking to add on Donald Trump to this? Because if, in fact, he was aware, and if they can prove it, and we're not yet there in terms of what they have presented in evidence fully, if they can prove that not only he knew, that he was hoping and helping in some way, then you've got a very different calculus, if you are the attorney general of the United States of America.

You have consciousness of guilt, you have the expectation of violence, and you also have this notion that he cannot shield behind John Eastman. You remember you heard Liz Cheney say, look, even John Eastman did not buy his memo, the month before, he wrote a different one saying, this is not what we're going to do. And then changed it later on.

So, if the big lie was not even contemplated in the way that was truthful. If the man who wrote the memo that said, here is how Vice President Pence can do this, he didn't even buy it, how do you make the statement that he himself believed it?

COOPER: The Proud Boys they played video from one of the presidential debates, Chris, which you are moderating. And I want to play that moment.


BORGER: Do you remember that?


COOPER: And we'll get your reaction to it. Let's watch.




WALLACE: White supremacist and the Proud Boys --


TRUMP: Who would you like me to condemn? Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.

UNKNOWN: After he made this comment, Enrique Tarrio, then chairman of the Proud Boys, said on Parler, standing by, sir. During our investigation, we learned that this comment during the presidential debate actually led to an increase of membership at the Proud Boys.


UNKNOWN: Would you say that Proud Boys members increased after the stand back, standby comment?

JEREMY BERTINO, LEADER, PROUD BOYS: Exponentially. I'd say triple, probably.


WALLACE: Yes, I just want to say that I bear no responsibility for the Proud Boys on what they did on January 6. Let me just take you back to that moment. The specific question that I asked President Trump was, he had been attacking Antifa and all these groups, for instance, that have been involved in the protest riots after George Floyd.

And I said, are you willing to call out the right-wing groups, violent groups that had been stepping up. And he starts what -- and it was not me, it was Joe Biden, the president, --

BORGER: Who name it.

WALLACE: -- who said, Proud Boys. And he went, Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. And I remember at that time thinking, that is not exactly a call to disarm. That is not in any way a denunciation. It was kind of like, buy your time.

I just want to -- one other thing we have to talk about, because it seems to me, it was one of the most dramatic moments in this hearing, and it was at the end of Liz Cheney's presentation. And this is a woman who may very well give up a bright political career on the principle that she cannot countenance what a lot of other Republicans are countenancing which is what's going on with Donald trump.

And she said to my fellow Republicans, there will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain. And she's up a Republican primary in August. I think right now, we all have to say she is not the favorite. She has a long shot to win. But she's -- if that's what ends up happening, she is going down with her head held high.

BORGER: You know, one more thing that I think she did was she, there was a portrait of Donald Trump that came through in all of her -- in her -- in her talk, which was, that she basically portrayed him as somebody people in the White House felt they had to protect from the crazy people that he was letting in into the Oval Office.

And they knew that they were feeding him garbage about the fact that he could win the election. And she said at one point, they knew the president needed to be cut off from those who encouraged him. It was dangerous to be left alone.

COOPER: She also painted a portrait of the president who did absolutely nothing --

BORGER: Right.

COOPER: -- on that day for hours and hours, while Mike Pence, was not only on Capitol Hill but was calling General Milley, calling others, issuing orders to try to stop what was happening.

CONWAY: Yes. I mean, we had a president who wasn't a president. We had a president who was willing -- who wasn't willing to protect the country as he told Bob Woodward he was supposed to be doing. And we had people around him who didn't trust the president to do the right thing, and then who had to beg him to do the right thing. And yet, he didn't.

And he didn't because he saw these people on television supporting him. It was the same thing, that's why he didn't criticize the Proud Boys when he was asked at the debate. That's why he said there were great people on both sides at Charlottesville. And that's why he said you are wonderful people, you are wonderful people, this is what happened when an election --


BORGER: Like me --

CONWAY: We love you, that's what he said --

BORGER: Well, you know --

CONWAY: -- at the end of the day on January 6.

BORGER: What we -- CONWAY: And today, he says, look at the great crowd I had on January 6, there were so much love in the air. They quoted that. It's astounding.

COATES: And then juxtapose that to the testimony just now of Caroline Edwards, the Capitol Hill police officer, who looks at this crowd and sees a war zone. And is learning, we are learning today that the commander-in-chief does nothing. Does not called the Department of Homeland Security, does not call in the National Guard, she has a concussion, her chin is hit by a bike rack. She falls back and hits her head. She comes too, she gets up. She gets up again and again.

She just described sleeping on her colleague's blood. She talks about what they were facing. And to have it laid out, and it's not lost on me, I hope it wasn't on anyone else.


COATES: That it was a woman for the first time we're hearing at the public hearings. Remember, the very first time we heard from the office, we heard from what, three or four men who were there, who --


CONWAY: You could have a bigger contradiction between duty and devotion to duty and dereliction of duty.

COOPER: Yes. Jake Tapper, let's go to you.

JAKE TAPPER, CNN HOST: Thanks, Anderson. We are still pouring through all the testimony and trying to figure out. There are so many big bombshell scoops that we've heard this evening, whether about the Proud Boys or about Republican Congressman Scott Perry seeking a preemptive pardon from Donald Trump because of his role.

But one thing that struck all of us, and Jamie, let me start with you.



TAPPER: One of the first things that Congresswoman Cheney, the vice chair of the committee, noted, was that during the insurrection when the mob yelling hang, Mike Pence, hang, Mike Pence, because he was refusing to disobey the law and the Constitution by --


GANGEL: He was refusing to overturn the election.

TAPPER: -- to overturn the election. I'm just going to quote Liz Cheney here. "Aware of the rioters chants to hang Mike Pence, President Trump responded with this sentiment, quote, "maybe our supporters have the right idea, Mike Pence deserves it."

And let us just also note there was mock gallows there, but more importantly, the Pence team --

GANGEL: Right.

TAPPER: -- was legitimately scared enough about security to the vice president and his family, that they talk to the Secret Service about it the day before.

GANGEL: Absolutely. So, first of all, I just want to say doesn't that statement sound a lot like what we heard he said to Kevin McCarthy, maybe the rioters care more about this than you do, Kevin?

Look, let's go back to something that we know, which is that in the middle of all this, they take Pence down to this loading dock that's three levels below to secure him. And he is there for hours, and Donald Trump never reaches out to see if he is OK.

And I spoke to a senior Republican who is familiar with the dynamics, and I said, why didn't you call the White House? And the person said to me, because we knew the White House wasn't going to help.

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: And Jaime, I think that Liz Cheney really leans into what I think we will see unfolding over the course of the next few weeks, this stark contrast between Trump and his vice president. What Trump didn't do and what Pence did do.

She said that Trump refused to tell the mob to leave the capitol, but he placed no call to any element of the U.S. government to instruct the capitol to be defended. And she lists a whole bunch of things that Trump didn't do, no calls to the Defense Department, no calls to Homeland Security. And she says Pence did all of those things.

It's going to be a show not just about January 6 but also about a tale of two men, a president and a vice president.

TAPPER: So, Dana, over multiple months, Liz Cheney said, Donald Trump oversaw a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power. A seven-part plan. I know that we have sources that are telling us what this is. As much as you can shorthand, what are the -- what is the seven-part plan?

DANA BASH, CNN CHIEF POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it starts out with the idea that the former president engaged in a massive attempt to --

TAPPER: The big lie.

BASH: -- overturn the election and spread false information. That was the first one. The second one is to replace the attorney general with an acting attorney general, someone who would be his puppet --

TAPPER: To criminal -- to use the -- to weaponize the Justice Department, to use it.

BASH: To use it and to be his puppet in the Justice Department. To use the tools of the federal government to try to do his bidding to overturn the election. And then what we are talking about, when you are talking about, Abby, the notion of pressuring his vice president to not do his constitutional duty, to certify the electoral votes --

TAPPER: OK, so that's three plans of the seven.

BASH: that's --

TAPPER: What are the other four?

BASH: That's -- that's three. Four is to pressure state officials on putting in a whole new slate of electors. And this is something that obviously the committee is talking about. But this is being dealt with also in federal court --


TAPPER: And also, by the way, just a press -- an example of that is the notorious call to the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger.

BASH: Exactly. And that's just one thing. There are a lot of -- there are lot of bits of that conspiracy that what the committee is saying, that the actual president, then president was at the top of that conspiracy to push that.

TAPPER: Let me lead you to five, because five is the legislators wouldn't do that. The state legislators wouldn't do that, so what was the next step?

BASH: Well, the next step was that what the former president and his legal team did was to create and instruct states to create a false set of electors.

TAPPER: You know, instruct Republican activists. Right?

BASH: Yes, but, exactly. So, instead of what the voters wanted in the states and what was reported up through the process, he wanted something that was fake, which is another thing that is very important that is going through the federal -- federal courts.

This next one is something that we saw at the very end of the testimony, which is hearing from members of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, saying specifically that they were summoned to the capitol for the insurrection, specifically by Donald Trump himself. That is a really important and that's what she -- they call number six.


And then sec -- and then the last one is, what we were just talking about, which is that the former president did not call the National Guard, used all of the other tools at his disposal to stop the insurrection --

(CROSSTALK) GANGEL: He did walk down to the press room and --

BASH: -- despite pleas.

GANGEL: -- and go on camera.

BASH: Despite plea after plea after plea in the text that Jamie, you reported over and over again.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I just think the depth to which, and this is the curtain raise, we'll see. We have two weeks of this. But they teed up these things that they are going to come back to and continue to document.

I think the idea, again, hundreds of people are going to jail here. Some of them in the Proud Boys, some of them in Oath Keepers, but some of them are hairdressers, and firefighters, and doctors and lawyers, people from around the country who came here to support Donald Trump. They were lied to.

So, I think part of the point where they said members of Congress, including Scott Perry, listen to Liz Cheney talk about how those people are going to jail. The congressman who are egging them on along with the White House that was egging him on, they want to pardon.


REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): Representative Scott Perry, who was also involved in trying to get Clark (Ph) appointed as attorney general, has refused to testify here. As you will see, Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a presidential pardon.

Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.


KING: It's a piece, a powerful piece she is trying to make, number one, that other people in power were trying to enable and help Trump and to abuse their power, dereliction of duty to help him. But I think it's also more than that.

She is trying to crack the spell. There are a whole lot of people out there who still believe Donald Trump. He has spent years saying we are liars, Democrats are liars. Liz Cheney is a rhino and she's a liar. They are using his own people, his own people, Bill Barr, three times. I told him it was bullshit. Marc Short, chief of staff, we thought the vice president was at risk of danger. She's using his own people to say no, he's the liar.

TAPPER: Right. Jason --


KING: He's the liar. He knew. Yes. TAPPER: Jason Miller testifying that the data guy, the data guy told them, Trump is going to lose the election. He's going to lose the election. Still ahead, we'll get the January 6th committee chairman's first take on how the hearing went. Congressman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat of Mississippi will join us live. Stay with us.



TAPPER: On Capitol Hill tonight, the American people heard a clear and compelling case that the 45th President of United States was at the center of a conspiracy to overthrow the 2020 election and undermine your vote and subvert American democracy.

The next few hearings will flesh out the case that they're trying to build. We are joined now by the chairman of the House select committee investigating January 6, Congressman, Bennie Thompson.

Mr. Chairman, thank you so much. So, what do you think was the biggest news? Some of your committee members promised breakthroughs and epiphanies this evening, what were they?

REP. BENNIE THOMPSON (D-MS), CHAIR, JANUARY 6TH COMMITTEE: Well, I think obviously it was never before seen footage of what occurred. The fact that Trump's daughter was in the video. The fact that his son-in- law in the video. The fact that a lot of the organizing aspect of the January 6 --

TAPPER: The Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers.

THOMPSON: That's right. Off line. Not, you know, we saw them in the midst of the insurrection, but we didn't see what they were doing, organizationally before. So, we showed the meeting on the 5th in the parking lot with a group that normally they don't.

TAPPER: Two rival far right-wing extremist groups meeting breaking bread. Right?

THOMPSON: That's right.

TAPPER: But you know what, I wonder about the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. You convincingly made the case that Trump was good for their membership. And you convincingly made the case that they were there, they thought, because Trump them to be there to undermine the election and to stop the electoral count vote -- the electoral vote count.

Are there going to be witnesses that describe actual conversations between these extremist groups and anyone in Trump's orbit?


TAPPER: There will be?

THOMPSON: Yes. Obviously, you have to go to the hearing, but we have a number of witnesses who come forward that people have not talked to before, that will document a lot of what was going on in the Trump orbit while all of this was occurring.

TAPPER: So, it's not just happenstance that they were there? That they were encouraged directly by people around.

THOMPSON: And everything that the public heard tonight is factual. We can prove it. And because as you know, the fact checkers will look at everything that was presented, and we made a conscious effort to only put on what we could prove. So, we put the tweets from the president.


THOMPSON: We put video from the president. We put everything on, but we put it in an order that the public could now see --


THOMPSON: -- that even when the president was told by the chief law enforcement officer that he appointed, attorney general, that there was no -- in the election. And obviously, the people he was listening to were not reputable in terms of looking at the evidence. And so, the president just blew him off and started listening to people who had no real grounding on the issue.

TAPPER: Yes. The charge of seditious conspiracy was raised by Liz Cheney, Congresswoman Cheney this evening. And as you and others have noted, members of the too far right extremist groups, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys have been charged with seditious conspiracy.


Are you building a criminal case? I know you can't charge, but are you building a criminal case for the Justice Department, potentially to charge Donald Trump with seditious conspiracy?

THOMPSON: Well, we are building a case based on the facts and circumstances that our investigation determined. We've filed with the court in California, certain aspects of what our findings have been. And the judge ruled that there were certain things that the president is guilty of that --


TAPPER: Yes. Or could be guilty of?

THOMPSON: Could be guilty of.


THOMPSON: But, as you said, that's not our job. We are there to look solely at the facts and circumstance and provide recommendations to Congress.

Now, the Justice Department has inquired as to our sharing of our information. We expect to make that available to them at some point because this whole effort is a publicly funded endeavor. So, the public has a right to know. TAPPER: But would you agree with the reporting that Jamie Gangel

offered earlier today, which is that you have a lot of audiences for your hearings, but there are also is Attorney General Merrick Garland as somebody that you expect and hope is watching. You are talking to him also. You are presenting a case for him to consider.

THOMPSON: Well, we are presenting the facts to the public. I think that if the attorney general gets an opportunity to view the entirety of our records, it would be very helpful to him. But that's in his lane.


THOMPSON: We are not trying to confuse the two. But at some point, we do plan to cooperate, if requested. And that's what any law-abiding citizen would want to do.

TAPPER: Right. You ran a clip from Jason Miller of the Trump campaign aide, I believe in the clip he was talking about how a presentation was made to President Trump that he was going to lose, and it was precinct by precinct. And Miller is saying that he was taken out of context. Even if you don't put much stock in the credibility of Jason Miller, will you release the full transcripts so people can see the full context?

THOMPSON: At some point, we'll be more than happy to.

TAPPER: At some point, at the end of the hearings or before?

THOMPSON: Well, we'll look at it. I haven't seen his comment, but we are more than -- we're than willing to share it.

TAPPER: Yes. I mean, just as a member of the public and as a journalist, I'd love to see the transcripts, too.

THOMPSON: We'll make it available.

TAPPER: You'll make this available. We also saw a new video of members of the stand of House Republican Leader McCarthy fleeing, scared, and Vice Chair Liz Cheney referred to McCarthy, himself, as scared.

Obviously, Kevin McCarthy has said a lot of things privately and even publicly on the Florida House, in which he condemned the mob and also held Donald Trump responsible. He is backed off all of that now, saying that the American people are responsible for what happened on January 6. Why was that evidence important do you think?

THOMPSON: Well, I think we had to set the record straight. Clearly, Leader McCarthy was on one side before he went to the other. But as you know, the facts and circumstances haven't changed. He has changed. And if he can say what cause it, as you know, I negotiated what I thought was a bipartisan commission to look at it, made up of 50 percent Republicans, 50 percent Democrats. We gave him everything he wanted.

TAPPER: He asked for three specific things, and you granted all three of them.

THOMPSON: All three.

TAPPER: Absolutely.

THOMPSON: And President Trump at the time said you need to be against it. So, all of a sudden, he got everything he wanted --


THOMPSON: -- and he was against it still.

TAPPER: Today, we heard from Trump's education secretary at the time of the attack, Betsy DeVos, who said that she was so shocked, I'm paraphrasing her, but said she was so shocked by what happened, and also by Trump's refusal to call off the crowd, that she started discussing with other members of the Trump administration invoking the 25th Amendment which allows a cabinet --


TAPPER: -- to remove a president from power. I know you know what I'm telling you about. And it allows the cabinet and the vice president to remove a president from power. Vice President Pence told her that he wasn't interested in doing that. Your panel said it was going to reveal more information about that, what more do you know?


THOMPSON: Well, have information from witnesses who can tell us part of the conversation that went on. As you know, I shared the Abraham Lincoln document that he drew up in a similar situation right after the Civil War. And he had his cabinet to sign it to say that, if I lose, we are going to go with the winner, we're not going to challenge it.

You know, he was a statesman. And Donald Trump did not do that. He is the only president in history to do what he did on January 6th. And that's so unfortunate.

TAPPER: I'll tell you what I told Marco Rubio and Kirsten Gillibrand when they worked together and had the burn pit legislation.


TAPPER: Got through the first legislative hurdle in the Senate, which is it's really nice to see a Democrat and a Republican in this horrific era of division working together, and it's very nice to see you and Vice Chair Liz Cheney.

Thank you so much for your time today. Appreciate it. Good luck with the rest of the hearings. We appreciate it.

As the Select Committee prepares for its next hearing, Republican defenders of Trump are coming out swinging. Are they telling the truth? Details on that, next. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)



COOPER: As the January 6 Committee was presenting evidence tonight, Republicans began hitting back the Select Committee and its findings.

Manu Raju has more on that. What are you hearing from House Republicans?

MANU RAJU, CNN CHIEF CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Republicans are attacking this committee as a sham, illegitimate. They are contending that some of these comments that were played tonight did not provide the full context of what some of the witnesses said. They are not engaging too much on the substance yet of all this. They are banking overall that public attention will shift away from this, shift back to economic issues as they battle on the midterms.

One Republican told me that he does not believe it is really going to move the dial all that much. Of course, it's one of the first of a number of hearings going forward.

But a big question, too, Anderson, is what Liz Cheney revealed tonight, that there were some House Republicans seeking pardons from Donald Trump because of their role in their actions on the run up to January 6th.

Jamie Raskin, one member of the committee, just mentioned to me moments ago that this is -- he said there's no, in his words, it is hard the find a more explicit statement of consciousness of guilt than looking for a pardon for exit you have just taken.

Neither him nor Bennie Thompson would tell me how many members of the Republican Conference asked for pardons of the members of republican leadership. Bennie Thompson did indicate to me that there is -- quote -- "document patient" that they have, the committee has of these Republicans seeking pardon.

So, those are all the issues that are bound to come out in the hearings ahead, Anderson. But at the moment, Republicans are criticizing the committee, not getting into the details much of what happened other than arguing that more information to come out, more of the depositions could come out.

And Thompson indicating also, Anderson, though, that eventually, all those transcripts from all the people who testified before the committee will be released.

COOPER: Yeah. Manu, thanks very much. A lot of the narrative that you heard tonight is based on what Trump's own staff told the committee.

Kaitlan Collins is joining us now. Kaitlan, what are you learning about how some of those Trump allies are going to try and explain that in the coming days? KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Yeah, Anderson, so much of what you heard was not just from his own staff but also his allies, even his own relatives, as you heard, clips of Jared Kushner's testimony, Ivanka Trump's testimony. And obviously, that raises the natural question of how is the former president going to respond to seeing that, seeing that actual testimony being used to create this and really paint this picture of what happened that day.

And I'm told, Anderson, that in the coming days, if former President Trump is upset by some of what his own allies or former staff or even relatives said, that you can expect him to say that they were taken out of context by the committee.

Now, I should note that a lot of them went into these testimonies, these meetings with the committee staff knowing that they were being recorded, knowing that it was likely being transcribed, and even potentially knowing that it could be used in these hearings.

But I'm told that several of them plan to use something that was really tried and true defense during Trump's time in offense, which is claiming that they are being taken out of context. That was something that Trump reporters will know. That was something cabinet secretaries often used when they went up on the Hill and something they testified about, that Trump did not like it.

And so, I'm told we can expect to hear that in the coming days, if former President Trump is upset by it, and you can imagine several of the things that could potentially be used for that.

Ivanka Trump is saying she believed Attorney General Barr when he told her there was no fraud in the hearing or the campaign attorney who said Mark Meadows told him, you know, there is no there there when he was laying out that they couldn't find any evidence of fraud.

So, expect that in the coming days from Trump world potentially, Anderson.

COOPER: All right. Kaitlan Collins, appreciate it. Joining me here in Washington, Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein. Was there anything really new tonight? I mean, for minds that are already made up, was there anything new that would convince people to look at this in a new light?

BOB WOODWARD, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, THE WASHINGTON POST: Oh, yes. I think what happened tonight was historic. I think it is a brilliant, truly brilliant presentation by Benny Thompson and by Liz Cheney. Listen to the detail and they have it. They have it cold is best I can tell.

And from my own reporting, I just wanted to throw one thing that Bob Costa and I found out when we did our book "Peril." And this is a real serious evaluation done by the Gina Haspel, who is the CIA director.

This is a controversial CIA director. Maybe it's impossible to be a CIA director and not be controversial. But tough, was a case officer, spent years and years evaluating leaders and their stability and who they were. And this is what she said a week after the election that Trump lost, when he fired Mark Esper, the defense secretary.


Quote -- "Yesterday was appalling. We are on the way to a right-wing coup. The whole thing is insanity. He, Trump, is acting like a 6-year- old with a tantrum."

I think that's what we saw tonight. And I also think that this committee has done kind of the equivalent of what happened in the famous army McCarthy hearing, when Joe McCarthy was accused by a lawyer in a very memorable way, saying, do you have no shame?


WOODWARD: And this committee has essentially said to Donald Trump, do you have no shame?


CARL BERNSTEIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: First of all, we have a picture now of the audacity of a criminal, conspiratorial president of the United States. Not just sedition, but a coup that he attempted in which he tried to take over the vice presidency, the Department of Justice, the attorney general, the state's attorney general.

This was a coup in this country. We had never really seen an attempt on anything like this. And there are -- this is a moment of truth for the Republican Party. There have been few like it. There certainly has been 68 years ago. Joe McCarthy, Nixon. This is the next real test of what the Republican Party is. And Liz Cheney said, there will come a time when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.

There is a chance -- and look, the Republican Party is certainly not going to listen to me, but --

WALLACE: You got that right.


BERNSTEIN: But really, Bob asked the right question here. Have you no shame to go along with this president? Let's look at what those around him did and say privately. Let's look at Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education secretary saying, let's invoke the 25th Amendment. Why would she be saying that? Why would she be trying to do this? Because she believed, as did cabinet officers, that a president, a president of the United States had been gone off the rails criminally and mentally.

What did the secretary of defense, what did General Milley try to do? They tried to take away the nuclear command of this president while this was going on.

WALLACE: But gentleman, you're describing a Republican Party --

BERNSTEIN: Yes. WALLACE: -- that doesn't exist.

BERNSTEIN: Absolutely.

WALLACE: And you're talking about Donald Trump who in all the polls is leading any other possible potential Republican in the 2024 nomination. We are talking about a Republican Party in which, with some exceptions that you have, Republicans seeking office in 2022 who are begging, fighting for his favor.

In Pennsylvania, you had Mehmet Oz who got his endorsement, and Dave McCormick who lost by 900 votes today who is begging for his endorsement saying, I am more MAGA than the other guy is.

WOODWARD: Oh, no. Wait a minute. One of the things Bennie Thompson said, and I think this was important, is the problem here went beyond January 6th. It didn't stop there at all.

BORGER: We know that.

WOODWARD: And one of the very important things that happened here is that, the day was January 8th, two days after the head of the Chinese military called General Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and said, is America coming apart at the seams, having seen the video and what happened on January 6th. And Milley said to him, well, you know, sometimes, things look unsteady but that is the nature of democracy.

What is on trial here is what is the nature of democracy, not the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. And the nature, in my view, democracy was answered tonight in a very compelling way.

COOPER: Just ahead, will these new hearings prompt the Justice Department to issue new charges? We will discuss that. We will be joined by the filmmaker who testified tonight, seen the crowd at the Capitol, from protester to insurrection.




TAPPER: We're told that the attorney general of the United States, Merrick Garland, was watching tonight's hearing of the January 6 Committee.

Let's go and check in with Evan Perez right now, who is our senior justice correspondent. Evan, what is the next move for the Justice Department?

EVAN PEREZ, CNN SENIOR JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Well, you know, Jake, I think watching this hearing, you got the sense that certainly part of what the committee was trying to do was speak to the Justice Department to make the case that there is something here for them to pursue with regard to, you know, the efforts by people, not just the rioters, people who were behind instigating the rioters. And certainly, for the beginning part of the presentation, some of that would have been new to prosecutors. Some of these witnesses that they haven't heard from, some are transcripts that the prosecutors are still asking the committee to turn over.

And I think that's important because for -- if you are a prosecutor trying to get past this issue that, you know, certainly people around the president are making that, you know, they believe that there was fraud, if you hear that presentation, you see people inside the Trump circle who are telling you that they knew this was false, that they knew this was B.S.

And I think what that gets you, for prosecutors, it gets you to the state of mind of what was going on inside the Trump world in those key days, Jake.

TAPPER: All right. Evan Perez, thanks so much.


We are joined now on set by documentarian Nick Quested who testified this evening before the committee about his experiences on January 6th. He was embedded with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys.

Nick, thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it. So, the chairman of the committee was just here. And I noted that your footage, your incredible footage, showed this meeting between the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, this meeting of the minds between two rival extremist groups. And that clearly Trump had helped recruitment. And clearly, they came to, you know, plan a plotting way, commit mayhem and stop the counting.

But I said to Chairman Thompson, but are you going to be able to prove that this was coordinated directly with people in Trump's orbit? He said, yes. Did you witness anything like that?

NICK QUESTED, DOCUMENTARIAN: No. I think the upticks of that meeting are incredibly bad, but I can't speak to the coordination between the two groups beyond that meeting itself.

TAPPER: What about individuals with the Proud Boys with whom you were embedded and the Trump folks?

QUESTED: No, I can't speak to that either. I have -- I was literally making a film about why America is so divided when Americans have so much in common, and so I was very much -- I had the worm's eye perspective on this.

I am asking Tarrio much bigger questions about what it means to be American and why -- we are looking at the two extremes of the political spectrum and trying to find commonality between the two sides, whether it be their attitude towards policing or their attitudes towards health care.

I mean, you know, both sides of this equation will agree that health care is a basic right, but then there is a difference about how we would administer it and pay for it.

TAPPER: Okay. Interesting. Jamie?

GANGEL: Just to follow up on where Jake is going. Did you hear about any connection with these groups, with any Trump allies? Steve Bannon, Roger stone?

QUESTED: No, I hadn't. I was very much in this world in a tactical way. I did not hear of any connections. I mean, Enrique Tarrio did go to the White House on December the 12th, but I did not know the substance of that meeting.

GANGEL: Could I ask why you asked to be under subpoena?

QUESTED: I didn't ask to be under subpoena. They gave me a subpoena.


TAPPER: You weren't going to testify willingly?

QUESTED: I felt there was some ethical nuances that I wanted to cover with a subpoena. To provide what product to the committee without subpoena, I felt this covered it.

I'm -- I want the facts about what happened on the lead up to January 6th to be as clear as possible. And we actually pivoted our film to be about those 64 days between the election and January 6th. And we spent a lot of time working from the ground up with a variety of people to help explain what was going on.

BASH: Nick, one of the things that we heard in the hearing tonight was that by the time the president spoke at that rally on the mall, the group, the Proud Boys, many of them, they were already headed to the Capitol. They were already headed for the insurrection. Did you witness that? When you were there with them, did you know that the plan was already that? Even before the --

QUESTED: I'm -- I arrived on the mall around 10:30 and the Proud Boys are marching as a group towards the Capitol. At that point, I'm completely immersed in trying to cover this event like a scene. So, I am like, I'm going to get a shot from the side, I'm going to get a shot to the front, I am going to get inside the group and walk with them, I want a shot in slow motion. Unless they're trying to edit the scene in my head. I have no idea what is going on.

UNKNOWN: We are television people. We get it.

UNKNOWN: We get it. We get it.

PHILLIP: And Nick, did you see them walking around the Capitol?

QUESTED: Yeah, I walked with them --

PHILLIP: And what did you think at that moment that they were doing?

QUESTED: We had done -- in the rallies I have been with them before, they have done a lot of this walking around. On December 11th to December the 12th, we walked up and down the mall. They had a prayer on the mall on both days. And on -- yeah, on both days, December 11 and 12. So, I was used to this.

This is actually one of the reasons that -- I expected there to be some type of confrontation in the evening. We were expecting to walk around, watch the president's speech from some vantage point, and I expected the Proud Boys to engage with Antifa or BLM in the evening.

So, I had no -- I had a 1950s NATO issued gas mask that was useless, and I'm wearing a ski jacket. That was my level of protection.


PHILLIP: And knowing what you know now, do you believe that they were casing the Capitol to look for weaknesses, to find out places they could penetrate?

QUESTED: My footage shows them walking through the -- walking down the mall past the reflecting pool to the other side, past the three aspects of the Capitol. You can draw your own conclusions as to what they were doing.

KING: Couple of quick questions. You obviously had to negotiate to be there with them, to get permission to be there, to shoot them. Did they say anything in advance beyond, we are going to the Trump speech, about what they planned that day?

QUESTED: I negotiated to be with them beforehand. They were like just, like, you can join us. We made it -- my partner and I, Sebastian Junger, we made a film called "Restrepo" with our colleague and they were very impressed by this film.

KING: Any feedback from them? I'm asking the question gently. We know what are they capable of. We know what they do. We saw what they did that day in part because of your footage. Once they found out you were going to testify and you were sharing information with the committee, any feedback to you?

QUESTED: Have I had -- not directly from Proud Boys. But I had -- there has been a lot of negative social media interaction with me recently.

TAPPER: Nick Quested, thank you so much. Really appreciate your time. The footage is incredible. Our coverage continues with Don Lemon after this quick break. Stay with us.